"Dhoom" and "Dhoom 2" director Sanjay Gadhvi returns with his latest, “Kidnap” starring current heartthrob Imran Khan (fresh off his summer blockbuster “Jaane Tu, Ya Jaane Na”), Sanjay Dutt (in his first release of 2008), and Minissha Lamba (now reborn in a sexy new avatar). It will be interesting to see how Gadhvi fares now that he is no longer in the Yashraj camp and under the micro-management watchful eye of Aditya Chopra. What is obvious from the promos for the film is that the director has not lost his eye for that sensual flashiness that was a trademark of his previous movies. The director’s favorite music director Pritam is responsible for most of the music, but not all as newcomers Sandeep Vyas and Sanjeev Vyas compose one song (which turns out the be the best on the album, and one of the catchiest tracks of the year). Mayur Puri handles the lyrics. Truly, I wasn’t expecting much from this album, as films in the thriller genre notoriously either have music that fits the paranoid/dark atmosphere of the story or have frothy filler tunes that inevitably will break the flow of the actual movie itself. So, will the soundtrack to “Kidnap”, take your musical heart hostage? Let’s fire up the IPOD and find out.
The first track, “Mit Jaaye” is the one that has been blasting on all the music channels and with good reason. From the first heavy techno beats, to the almost retro new wave keyboard sounds the music immediately makes you stand up and take notice. Add to this the excellent melody. I can’t stress enough how important melody is to a song. You can cover up a track with all kinds of technical wizardry, but if the melody isn’t strong enough, the song will have no soul. Luckily for us, the melody shines through on this track and propels it forward as the music backs it up admirably. Add to this the powerful vocals by composer Sandeep Vyas and the lyrics by Mayur Puri and you have the best track on the album hands down (perhaps arguably one of the best tracks so far this year). Strangely enough, the cd cover doesn’t mention the Vyas brothers as composers along with Pritam. Granted they’ve only composed one song, but with one of this caliber, you’d think they would merit a mention. Run, don’t walk as you kidnap this song and download it immediately to your IPOD. Now, this minute, don’t wait!
The second track, “Hey Ya” is more notable for Minissha Lamba’s sexual makeover (ala Sanjay Gadhvi who seems to have a knack for these things) as she prances around in a revealing bikini top. This one is the second promo for the film, and I’m sure it will be a hit for all the “right” reasons. Let’s see, actress titillating the men in the audience and making their girlfriends jealous? CHECK! Does the song have a funky beat that will not take too much to get addicted to? CHECK! Is the track so unobtrusive that you know you’ll forget it in a few weeks? CHECK! Does it have the pre-requisite Hinglish (Hindi with a peppering of English) lyrics? CHECK! It’s got a hip-hop lite beat that will keep your head bopping. Honestly, this track is the first one by Pritam and upon the first listen is a big drop (talk about dropping off a cliff) in terms of quality from the excellent first track by the Vyas brothers. Nothing groundbreaking here, this one is a by the book “Dhoom” pattern song. I don’t know whether to blame Pritam or the director here, but this could have been a much better track. Vocals are provided by Suzie Q, who does well with what she has to work with. This one will be popular with the guys who lecherously download this track to dream about the gyrating Ms. Lamba.
The third track, “Mausam”, features female playback singer of 2008 (in my humble opinion), Shreya Ghoshal on the vocals. This time around Pritam has made her sing as if she is being sensuously pleased while trying to sing at the same time. She tries really hard to bring out that throaty whispery quality to her voice, and retains that for the whole song. The music is standard soft pop with a programmed beat. It’s an improvement over the previous track, but fails to truly floor the listener. Again, it’s definitely in the Dhoom genre of music, wherein simple melodies combine with catchy but average instrumentation to give a harmless track. My advise, this one won’t kidnap your musical soul in any way, so don’t bother with adding it to your playlist.
Let’s kick it old skool eighties style with the fifth track, “Meri Ek Ada Shola”, which sounds like something from an old Subhash Ghai flick. Sunidhi Chauhan (who has taken a bit of a back seat to Shreya Ghoshal this year) provides the lead vocals along with the ever-dependable Sukhwinder Singh. Both of these singers raise the quality of any song they sing and this track is no exception. The music and melody by Pritam is fairly basic, and pulls from a lot of older songs. A perfectly harmless track that might have you pulling out those old Rishi Kapoor sweaters and dancing (out of synch with the music) with a guy or gal half your age. Add this to your playlist only if you feel a bit nostalgic for the old days.
Thus ends the original compositions of the soundtrack as we move into the REMIX ZONE. First up, because no one demanded it, the remix of track two, “Hey Ya” The House Mix filled with more bodacious goodness. The song is sped up and works better as a fast dance track than a slow tempo hip hop track. The best remix however is the rock version of “Mit Jaaye”, and it simply…rocks. I would even go out on a limb and say that the rock remix is even better than the original more techno/dance track. One can picture Sandeep Vyas singing this in front of a live audience with a live band backing him up. It’s that good. Combining the sound of Sergio Leones with the Rolling Stones, the track will burn itself into your brain. Your finger will be twitching towards the repeat button even before the song is over. Need I say it, add it now to your playlist and play it LOUD!
All in all, aside from the excellently addictive “Mit Jaaye”(original and rock versions), I would say that the album is Pritam’s least appealing this year. The tracks that he is responsible for are just about average. The kind of harmless tunes that will be played for a little while and quickly forgotten, are a trademark of this set. Perhaps the Vyas brothers set the bar too high with “Mit Jaaye”. Since the album begins with such a killer track, one’s expectations are set even higher for the rest. One thing is for sure; I’ll be listening carefully for Sandeep and Sanjeev Vyas’ next release. Oh and Pritam? Better luck next time.